Blog Archives

When your face is your business card

It can’t be too flashy. Shiny material can look a little cheap. Leave the tiara at home – keep it simple. Faithful.

It needs to say who you are, without giving away all of your secrets. Authenticity first, and a little mystery behind the eyes.

You hope they call. You hope it’s a solution to their problems (casting problems, ha!)

 

Wonder Russell

Wonder Russell

I’m very happy with my new headshots by Lisa LeVan! If you’re in the Seattle-Tacoma area, be sure to schedule an appointment with her.

Ten Years Later

In February, dynamic filmmaking duo Kris & Lindy Boustedt emailed me about a new short film they’d written, Ten Years Later. They wrote it with Lisa Coronado and I in mind to play sisters who meet again after ten years – ten years my character has spent rotting in prison.

Lisa and I were honored (and not a little intimidated!) and started working on the relationship between the two women. The journey took me to L.A. and even to Dallas where I continued to delve deeper into “Alice,” building her rage and thirst for revenge.

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We shot the film over the second weekend in April, and it was an incredible experience. I’ve never been asked to play such a dark character, and the challenge was very rewarding. Kris and Lindy’s faith in me spurred me to break through my own resistances to the material – I wanted to make them proud.

TEN YEARS LATER – Teaser from First Sight Productions on Vimeo.

Ten Years Later is an origin story for Alice, who shows up in their feature film, ASHLAND, which we hope to shoot later this year. In Ashland, Alice is remorseless and vicious; Ten Years Later shows you how she became that way. 904393_170507779774015_1133062690_o 904732_172871216204338_886544589_o

I could not have brought everything I am to this project without Kris and Lindy’s unswerving belief that I could handle this character, my coach Steven Anderson’s unflinching homework assignments that gave me nightmares, and my lovely friend Lisa’s unwavering commitment to giving her all. I haven’t worked with a more competent and talented set of professionals.  Thank you.

Ten Years Later will be released later this Summer.

Will Act for Health Care

In the most recent Seattle Intensive (Actorswork) workshop, we were asked to name a fear we hold about acting. Instantly, I thought of some of the risks within film work, such as:

  •  Lack of control when your performance is chopped up in the editing room
  •  Fear of others’ perceptions of you as a person, (sometimes because of how a performance is edited)
  •  Fear that the film will be badly finished, impacting your career marketability
  •  Fear that your Grandma will see that one love scene

All valid. I battle all of these. But this time, my greatest fear wasn’t “bad” characters or villains or challenging roles or editors I don’t trust… My biggest fear was “acting as commerce.”

My greatest fear may baffle most actors: acting for money. Specifically, I mean having to take a job I’d otherwise pass on, just for the paycheck.

I recently read about an actor who takes his roles based on whether or not healthcare is provided. He may have been a tad tongue-in-cheek but there’s still truth at the core. This discussion isn’t the merits healthcare, it’s why we act.

Acting for me is completely different from a “job.” When I sign on, I want it to be with a mixture of joy and terror, the inward tug of knowing I’m beginning an adventure. And I want it to pay, don’t misunderstand me! But I don’t want a paying gig first, and a compelling gig second. As Amy Poehler hinted during the Golden Globes …

Heh.

The journey has highs and lows. You’ll be swamped with work one month, and then you’ll realize a certain casting director hasn’t asked for you in a year (gulp – true story).  Sometimes you have to take jobs that aren’t exactly winning material – that dry teleprompter-laden training video, for example. Or heck, a national commercial (!) for fast food that you loathe, but it pays your rent for a year.

I just know that I’m an actor because I’m a compassionate, emotional individual who loves to connect deeply. I want that to always be the driving force behind why I take (or don’t take) an acting gig. Most importantly, I need to trust that as long as I am true to myself, the right gigs will continue to find me.

 

 

Gary Austin’s workshop: highlights

This weekend I galivanted, played, cried, explored, failed, joyed, thrilled, danced, derobed, and foolished in Gary Austin‘s ever-amazing improv workshop.

In the rare moments I wasn’t on my feet, I had the opportunity to furiously tap out a few notes onto my phone, to share with you today.

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“Always be Acting.”

Richard Dreyfuss

Richard Dreyfuss (Photo credit: Scott Beale)

 

Can’t go wrong with this simple wisdom from Richard Dreyfuss:

 

 

Inspiration: What Do I Desire?

From an incredible lecture by Alan Watts: What if money were no object?

Thanks to Joke & Biagio for the link!

Revelation

It’s here.

Go deeper on the official website.

Revelation was ultimately made out of a pursuit of the love of process. It was created as a gift, to ourselves and to the arts loving community. It’s available online. If it gives you a moment of beauty, if it touches you, please pass it on and share those moments with another. Thank you so much for being an integral part of Revelation’s journey.

Director’s notes from our sold-out premiere at Teatro Zinzanni:

What is Revelation?

A revelation can occur to you, or it can come from within the your own heart. It can arrive like trumpets and timpani, or with a still small voice. A revelation changes your world.

 Six wordless micro-short films explore the moment of epiphany – the space between what was and what is – through generative movement, from the perspective of six actresses.

 Each microshort is intended as a stand-alone piece, that when viewed together transcend the individual experience and touch the universal. Follow the journey from its coming of age origin, through gaining a sense of power, the discovery of loss, the love for family, the wisdom of experience, until final microshort that encompasses them all – that this mortal coil is but a dream within the dream we sojourn here on earth.

 Revelation was created in ensemble work over several months in Spring 2012, and filmed in two days. Our script was ourselves – our hopes, fears, vulnerabilities, strengths, dreams, and desires.

 Thank you for joining in our journey!

~Wonder Russell

 

Revelation Trailer

My new project, Revelation, a short film about epiphany, premieres online for all on 10.17. The trailer just launched! Enjoy! May it give you goosebumps. 🙂

Revelation: Trailer from Revelation Film Project on Vimeo.

Let Me See Ya Do the Jane Fonda! Episode 3 with For the Glow

Welcome to Episode 3 in a series about my 21 Day Workout with For the Glow! This is a little sidebar from my usual musings on acting and filmmaking, to bring an honest account of my experiences in one of the actor’s biggest responsibility – physical fitness. I hope to inspire you or at least, make you laugh! Catch up on Episode 1 and Episode 2.

August 24  – August 27 (Days 7 – 10)

Friday morning I got a tweet from poor Jenn, whose detox blues found her breaking out in hives and battling a fever. Either of those by itself makes me feel like a giant baby. Saturday and Sunday we planned to have off while I was at an intensive acting workshop. Sunday night, I was just leaving class close to 11pm and exhausted. We bailed on Monday. That’s life.

Four days without a workout is pretty scary when you’re on a 21-day block, but I chugged healthy fluids (kombucha, water, fresh pressed juices) and did my best to eat well. Sometimes life demands extra attention – these workshops are notorious for being intense, but they only happen every three months. It’s a trade I’m willing to make – my goal just becomes, how do I fuel myself better?

August 29 (Day 12)

We take a few measurements today. I’m terrified. Four days off was a necessary hurdle but I’m scared – what if the workouts that came before aren’t enough? The dreaded numbers come in: My waist is the same, but I’ve lost an inch from my hips. A whole inch! That may not sound like a lot to you, but in the skinny jeans world it’s the difference between sizes! In 12 days and 8 workouts, I’m down an inch! I’m shrinking! Yay!

i put this here because it’s cute and has nothing to do with my real measurements

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Icy Hot Bad Kitty: Episode 2 with For the Glow

Welcome to Episode 2 in a series about my 21 Day Workout! This is a little sidebar from my usual musings on acting and filmmaking, to bring an honest account of my experiences in one of the actor’s biggest responsibility – physical fitness. I hope to inspire you or at least, make you laugh! Catch up on Episode 1, here.

August 19 (Day 2)

I think this says it all, don’t you?

RIP Wonder Russell

I literally could not move after our Sunday session.

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